Austin Harms Shares His Story of Lost Love and Coping With Grief in 'BLOOD' EP [PREMIERE]
Out in the musical stratosphere there exists a rare breed of artists, ones that are able to take the deeply personal moments of their lives and courageously expel them into their music. These artists possess a unique voice, distinct to them and their story. Often it is these artists who are able to most fiercely impact the lives of their listeners. Cue the spectacularly talented artist, songwriter, and producer Austin Harms.
Harms hails from the small farm town of Visalia, CA and is now based in Los Angeles. His music rests in an intriguing nook on the genre spectrum. Drawing influence from the likes of Bon Iver, J. Cole, Daughter, Kanye West, & Frank Ocean, Harms creates music that blends the realms of left-of-center pop/electronic production with the raw lyricism and heavy grooves of hip hop & R&B. Deeply affected by the loss of his father to glioblastoma (brain cancer) in 2015, Harms' music reminisces on various aspects of his grieving process.
In his sophomore EP BLOOD, Harms eradicates all emotional barriers, allowing his listeners to feel snippets of some of the most difficult moments of his life together with him. A concept EP through and through, BLOOD is an inspiring testament to the power of heart-wrenchingly honest songwriting. Paying due respect to the conceptual nature of the EP, we thought it would be best to take you track by track– giving you a clear guide through this remarkable project.
With a sudden omnipotent swell of ethereal production, the listener feels a sense of departure and is immediately catapulted into a spacey alternative reality. As the sound abruptly cuts, Harms utters "The sun’s reflected in your golden eyes/You pull me in your tides again." Here Harms compares the gravitational pull of the moon to the feeling of falling in love for the first time and out of the grief he had grown so accustomed to.
"ALL I KNOW/OUT MY MIND"
An emotional, distorted electric guitar line leads into this two-part standout track, where we see a switch in perspective regarding that same life-altering love. As Harms moves freely through a beautiful melody and chord progression, he brings his listeners to a distinct moment in time as he reminisces. We see Harms coming closer to a painful realization in the pre-chorus, with a distinct and symbolic change in production– the rhythm picks up and eventually falls into a groove while he repeats "It's all I know/I'm tired of bleedin' on you" and moves to the culminating "OUT MY MIND," confirming to himself that the distance he feels in love is due to his enduring grief and depression.
The next stop on this journey brings us to two pivotal and heartbreaking moments in Harms' life, the loss of his father and a car accident that nearly cost him his life. The track begins with Harms bluntly stating, "Lately, I've been so fucking low" leading into a missed call and voicemail, presumably belonging to his father. As Harms expresses feeling alone and out of control, he references his near-fatal car accident and how it reminded him of the lack of control he felt when losing his father so suddenly. In a whirlwind of grief and pain, he states, "I was spinnin’ out in the middle of the road/Reminded me that time I was by my father’s side/With my mother and my sisters and we felt his body cold/It was in the summertime/I fuckin’ hate the summertime."
The pinnacle feeling of loneliness present in "SUMMERTIME" is continued through a question, possibly posed to his father or maybe even God, asking "If you hear me when I’m callin’ out/Why don’t you ever reply to me?" Harms references that he's "made it through the summer," a recurring painful season in his life, but this time he's reemerged with some clarity. He comes to the realization that regardless of the uncontrollable pain he's felt as a result of his situation, he is ultimately in control of his happiness. As his musings expand on this new found cognizance, he comes to contrasting conclusions. The first being that this pain is "in his blood" and therefore unavoidable and the second, that because he has finally recognized the problems within himself, he now has the power to fight and ultimately beat his demons.